This tested snippet should do it:

import re
line = re.sub(r"</?\[\d+>", "", line)

Edit: Here’s a commented version explaining how it works:

line = re.sub(r"""
  (?x) # Use free-spacing mode.
  <    # Match a literal '<'
  /?   # Optionally match a ""
  \[   # Match a literal '['
  \d+  # Match one or more digits
  >    # Match a literal '>'
  """, "", line)

Regexes are fun! But I would strongly recommend spending an hour or two studying the basics. For starters, you need to learn which characters are special: “metacharacters” which need to be escaped (i.e. with a backslash placed in front – and the rules are different inside and outside character classes.) There is an excellent online tutorial at: The time you spend there will pay for itself many times over. Happy regexing!