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Tsar family remains bear traces of shearing

Yekaterinburg, May 6, Interfax - The remains found in the second mass grave near Yekaterinburg in 2007, which likely belong to the family of Russia's last tsar, bear traces of shearing.

In particular, the shoulder bone of a man and a piece of the skull believed to belong to Crown Prince Alexey are shorn, Sergey Pogorelov, the head of the archaeology department of the Sverdlovsk region's department for the protection and use of monuments of history and culture, told Interfax.

"In addition, in the skull that may belong to Crown Prince Alexey there is a well-preserved hole. It is possible that it is a bullet hole," said the expert.

Nikolay Nevolin, the head of the Sverdlovsk region's forensic medicine office, said samples of the remains found in the second mass grave were flown to Innsbruck, Austria, for more forensic tests on Tuesday morning.

"Part of the samples had been sent there earlier, and the other part was send today," he said.

The main tests performed on the remains in the DNA laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, U.S., have been completed and additional studies are being conducted, said Nevolin.

In July 2007, the remains of two people were found in the second mass grave in the Staraya Koptyakovskaya road area near Yekaterinburg. The remains are believed to be those of a child aged 10-14 and a 20-year old woman. Forensic experts believe the remains may be those of Crown Prince Alexey and Grand Princess Maria, who were killed in 1918.


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