BERLIN -- A 30-year-old man deliberately drove a car into other vehicles along a major Berlin highway, injuring six people in what German officials said Wednesday appeared to be a deliberate attack motivated by Islamist ideology.

The suspect driving a black Opel Astra allegedly struck three motorcycles at different locations on the Bundesautobahn 100, Berlin prosecutors and police said in a joint statement. He then stopped on the highway and put an old ammunition box on the roof of his car, claiming it had explosives inside, the statement said.

“According to the current state of our investigation, we assume this was an Islamist-motivated attack,” Berlin's senator for the interior, Andreas Geisel, said. “A religiously motivated background cannot be excluded.”

Three people were severely injured during the attack late Tuesday, including a motorcyclist left with life-threatening head and back injuries, prosecutor Martin Steltner said. The collisions happened shortly before 7 p.m. local time and led to a complete closure of one of the German capital's main traffic arteries.

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