A victim of Afghan suicide bombing grew up in Arcadia

Manoharan Paul Kamaleson, who graduated from Arcadia High School, was killed Monday in a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
(Ruth Loisel)

An Arcadia High School graduate was among those killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, this week, his family said Wednesday.

Manoharan Paul Kamaleson, 55, had just returned to Kabul from a holiday break in Chicago with his family, where they lived before moving to Afghanistan, said his sister Ruth Loisel, who lives in Arcadia.

On Monday, a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a vehicle in the Afghan capital, killing Kamaleson and three others, who were military personnel, and wounding at least 100 people, according to the Associated Press. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Kamaleson was the chief operating officer of Kabul’s First MicroFinance Bank, but Loisel said she didn’t know whether the attack happened at his work or near his home.

Details of his death, which federal officials confirmed Tuesday to the family, are sparse, she said.


“We don’t know anything else,” said Loisel, who has been scrolling through Twitter and watching the news for updates about the attack.

Kamaleson grew up in Arcadia and attended Arcadia High School and Azusa Pacific University, where he went by “Paul.” He played football for both schools.

“We are saddened to learn of the loss of one of our own this week,” Azusa Pacific University said in a statement. “He will be remembered for the love and kindness he modeled. He carried his passion for others into his leadership position with the First MicroFinance Bank.”

Kamaleson played football for Arcadia High and Azusa Pacific University.
(Ruth Loisel)

Arcadia High School also released a statement about Kamaleson’s death:

“We are very sad to learn of the tragic passing of Paul. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his wife, Nicole, their three children, and his entire family, some of whom still live here in Arcadia. As we like to say, once an Apache, always an Apache.”

Loisel said Kamaleson traveled for work, often with his family, to countries such as Romania and Kenya.

He was a family man who was thoughtful and personable, his sister said.

“He was fun, and he was funny — very smart,” Loisel said. “He was a thoughtful person. He could talk with anybody.”

And he “loved, loved, loved those boys,” she said of his three grown sons, who are in their early 20s.

Kamaleson is survived by his wife and three children as well as two siblings and his father.

“The Kamaleson family is currently grieving and thank everyone for their incredibly supportive thoughts and prayers,” his wife, Nicole Kamaleson, said in a written statement. “They are asking, though, to kindly respect their privacy as they process this painful news during this difficult time.”

Twitter: @r_valejandra