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Shmuel Zeigerman wrote:
Try this:
    _, count = bytes:gsub("\208\169\175", "")
or this:
    _, count = bytes:gsub(string.char(0xD3,0xA9,0xAF), "")

These methods are not safe, as the characters can have special meaning in the pattern, e.g. "+", "[", etc.

Here's a function that is hopefully safe (not tested):

function count(subj, ...)
  local cnt, start = 0, 1
  local patt = string.char(...)
  while true do
    local s, e = subj:find(patt, start, true)
    if not s then break end
    cnt, start = cnt+1, e+1
  return cnt

usage example:
  local cnt = count(subj, 0xD3, 0xA9, 0xAF)