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A speed loader for an ancient jezail rifle that had disappeared from the Kabul National Museum was returned to the Afghan government June 2. Photo courtesy of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Federal agents have helped the government of Afghanistan recover some military equipment that has been missing since the Soviets pulled out.

The gear consisted of a speed loader for a jezail, which was state of the art weaponry for the 1800s. Jezails are heavy flintlock or matchlock muzzleloading muskets in calibers ranging from .50 to .75, and the loader had been part of the collection of the Kabul National Museum, but it disappeared following the Russian withdrawal.

As one can imagine, frequent fighting in Afghanistan has wreaked havoc on the country’s museums, and cultural artifacts have been leaking out since the 1980s thanks to looters, smugglers and black market merchants.

In February 2013, Homeland Security Investigations Kabul office began helping the Internaional Security Assistance Force to recover the historical jezail accessory, although the HSI release was sketchy on the details. On June 2, it was handed over to the Afghan government during a ceremony in the country’s Ministry of Information and Culture’s rose garden.