Sydney                  -               Papua New Guinea’s assistant police commissioner on Sunday called for his forces to show restraint after a group of soldiers allegedly killed a senior police officer in Port Moresby.

Anthony Wagambie said Senior Inspector Andrew Tovere died after a “brutal attack” in the country’s capital following a confrontation with off-duty military personnel Saturday who were “under the influence of alcohol”. Tovere underwent surgery and a blood transfusion but succumbed to his injuries in Port Moresby General Hospital on Saturday night.

Wagambie said the death “brought about a lot of anger” among police who gathered outside a PNG defence force base to demand the surrender of those responsible for his death.

They were later persuaded to disperse, he said in a statement Sunday, pleading with both police and the military to remain calm. “I call on officers and rank and file of both disciplinary forces to exercise restraint and understanding and allow the process of law and justice to take place,” he added.

Wagambie said the military was “equally concerned” about the incident and had detained one suspect who was now being questioned, while the “prime suspect” in the case had “reportedly fled from the barracks and is being pursued by the PNGDF”.

“It is in the best interest of everyone of us to ensure unnecessary confrontations are avoided at this point in time,” he said. “We have partnered well on many joint security operations and this must continue.

“The individuals involved in this crime will be dealt with by police when handed over.”