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Suspicious powder sent to sites near Super Bowl

NEWARK, N.J./NEW YORK, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Law enforcement officials on Friday were investigating letters containing a suspicious powder sent to locations in New York City and New Jersey, where the Super Bowl will be played on Sunday.

No injuries were reported and police in New York, where one envelope was sent to the offices of former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, said they had determined the substance was harmless.

New York and New Jersey police have been out in force throughout the metropolitan area ahead of the Feb. 2 NFL championship game. Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, about 10 miles (16 km) west of New York City has been on lockdown since Sunday.

At an Econo Lodge hotel in Carlstadt, New Jersey, which had received an envelope containing a loose white powder, hotel general manager Eylem Naik said authorities had tested the powder and pronounced it harmless.

"Everything is under control," Naik said. "They are leaving the premises now."

At least seven locations in Bergen County, New Jersey, received the envelopes said Jeanne Baratta, chief of staff at the Bergen County Executive's office.

"The letters were delivered in different communities and to different establishments, including Rutherford, East Rutherford and Lyndhurst," she said. At least two hotels were among those that received the suspicious letters.

"Everything is being thoroughly investigated," Baratta said.

New York City Police, New Jersey State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were all involved in the response to the suspicious letters.

An estimated 400,000 visitors have traveled to the region for the game and Super Bowl related events. Both teams, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, have been staying at hotels in Jersey City in the week leading up to the game.