On 6 October 1981, a victory parade was held in Cairo to commemorate Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal. Sadat was protected by four layers of security and eight bodyguards, and the army parade should have been safe due to ammunition-seizure rules. As Egyptian Air Force Mirage jets flew overhead, distracting the crowd, Egyptian Army soldiers and troop trucks paraded. One troop truck contained the assassination squad.. As the truck passed, the assassins dismounted, and Islambouli approached Sadat. Sadat stood to receive his salute, whereupon, Islambouli threw three grenades at Sadat, only one of which exploded, and additional assassins rose from the truck, firing assault rifles into the stands. After Sadat was hit and fell to the ground, people threw chairs around him to protect him from the hail of bullets.
The attack lasted about two minutes. Sadat and eleven others were killed, including the Cuban ambassador, an Omani general, and a Coptic Orthodox bishop. Twenty-eight were wounded, including Vice President Hosni Mubarak, Irish Defence Minister James Tully, and four US military liaison officers. Security forces were momentarily stunned but reacted within seconds. One of the attackers was killed, and the three others injured and arrested. Sadat was airlifted to a military hospital, where eleven doctors operated on him. He died nearly two hours after he was taken to the hospital. Sadat's death was attributed to "violent nervous shock and internal bleeding in the chest cavity, where the left lung and major blood vessels below it were torn."