Several crashes that brought a motorway in Berlin to a standstill last night may have been a terror attack, prosecutors in Germany suspect.
Six people were injured, three of them seriously, when a 30-year-old motorist drove into a number of vehicles along a stretch of the German capital’s motorway in a black Opel Astra.
After running over two motorcyclists at roughly 6.35pm local time the attacker stopped his car, got out and shouted “Allahu akbar”, according to Germany’s Bild newspaper.
Then, according to Bild, he put a metal box on his car roof and shouted “Nobody comes closer, otherwise you will all die.”
Pictures from the scene show the wrecked car on the motorway with investigators scouring the scene for clues.
The attacker is believed to be of Iraqi descent and has been named in German media as Sarmad A.
The man is said to have deliberately caused three crashes on the road near the centre of Berlin. One involved a motorcyclist whose motorbike was rammed into a car.
The motorcyclist is reportedly in a life-threatening condition. The three occupants of the car were also hurt.
Investigators have cited possible “religious” motivations for the incident, according to Bild and one local prosecution official told AFP that “Islamism” was a suspected motive.
“According to the current knowledge, it was an Islamist-motivated attack,” a spokesman for German prosecutors was quoted as saying.
He added that there were also indications that the 30-year-old suspect with an Iraqi citizenship had psychological problems.
A man at the scene of the crashes was overpowered and detained.
The motorway was closed as the box on the roof of his car was inspected but only tools were discovered in the box.
The incident led to long traffic jams on Tuesday evening.
Some 300 people were stuck on the highway for hours and were getting support from the German Red Cross, the Berlin fire department tweeted on Tuesday night.