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Russia Says DNA Tests Confirm Tsar Nicholas, Wife's Remains

Tsar Nicholas II (center left) with his family in 1914.

Russian investigators say new DNA tests conducted at the request of the Orthodox Church confirm that the exhumed remains of Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, and his wife, are genuine.

The November 11 statement by forensic experts from Russia's Investigative Committee creates a greater possibility that all seven members of the Romanov tsar's family -- who were executed by the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg in 1918 -- can be buried together.

The bodies of Nicholas and his wife, Aleksandra, and three of their daughters were reburied in St. Petersburg in 1991.

A five-year investigation begun in 1993 confirmed the authenticity of those remains.

But the remains of the last two children -- Aleksei and Maria -- were only found in 2007.

The Orthodox Church has also asked that more tests be done on those remains before they are buried with the rest of the family.

Investigative Committee officials said on November 11 that they would conduct even more tests on the remains to reach a "highly reliable final conclusion" for the church.

In 2000, the church canonized the slain family, whose Romanov dynasty ruled Russia for 300 years.

Based on reporting Reuters and AFP