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Oct 23, 7:23 PM EDT

Surfer is third Australian shark attack victim in a month

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SYDNEY (AP) -- A surfer sustained minor injuries on Monday in the third shark attack off New South Wales state north of Sydney in a month, a witness said.

The surfer's injuries were "not that serious," former state lawmaker Ian Cohen told Australian Broadcasting Corp. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The attacked occurred at Byron Bay, 36 kilometers (22 miles) north of Ballina, where a 25-year-old man sustained minor leg injuries while surfing with friends on Oct. 12.

On Sept. 26, a 17-year-old surfer required stiches to close a leg wound after he was bitten by a shark off Ballina, 600 kilometers (350 miles) north of Sydney.

A 41-year-old Japanese surfer was killed by a shark off Ballina last year.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at Ballina on Sunday to demonstrate against government plans to place anti-shark nets along beaches around Ballina.

The nets, which are suspended from floats and run parallel to the coast, are not complete barriers to sharks and kill a wide variety of marine life. Environmentalists oppose them.

Police plan to release a statement on the latest attack later Monday.

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