Officials say an Irish worker in eastern Nigeria has been shot to death during an attempted armed robbery.

Company officials and diplomats say Robert Gray was traveling with a Nigerian driver on Thursday afternoon in the town of Takum in eastern Taraba state near its border with Cameroon. Officials say the gunmen opened fire, killing Gray and wounding the driver.

Gray, a 45-year-old engineer, worked for an Irish engineering firm called PW Group. John Coen, a regional manager for PW in Nigeria, confirmed Gray's death and said Saturday that efforts were being made to send his body back to Ireland. A spokesman for Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said it also was aware of the slaying.

Kidnappings of foreign workers regularly occur in Nigeria, though violence against foreigners is rare.