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Berlin crashes were Islamic extremist attack, prosecutors say

A series of crashes allegedly caused by a 30-year-old Iraqi man on a Berlin highway was an Islamic extremist attack, prosecutors told the German news agency dpa on Wednesday.

“According to the current state of our investigation this was an Islamist-motivated attack,” the office said. They did not reveal the man’s identity, as is customary in Germany. The suspect is being investigated for attempted murder.

Six people were injured, three of them severely, when the man allegedly drove into several vehicles, including a motorcycle, along a stretch of the German capital’s highway on Tuesday evening. The crashes at three different locations led to a complete closure of one of the main traffic arteries of Berlin.

There were also indications that the man was suffering from psychological problems, dpa reported.

Police officers investigate the scene of a series of allegedly deliberate car crashes in Berlin. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

Local media reported that the man, who was driving an Opel Astra, later stopped on the highway and put a box on the roof of his car, claiming it had explosives inside. Specialists opened the box and found only tools. The man was detained by police.

Several media also reported that the man shouted “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great” as he got out of his car.

One of the injured is in life-threatening condition, the dpa reported.

The incident led to long traffic jams 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 Tuesday night.

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