I managed to pull the strips out without using any heat. I pulled maybe 25 degrees from the vertical, carefully avoiding the metallic parts around. However, after starting to pull with an even pressure, and seeing that the strip was stretching without coming out, I found that it helped if I gave small, repeated tugs, rather delicate but abrupt. This way I could actually hear the strip pulling out from under the battery, with a rubbery vibrating sound. It must have taken maybe 100 small tugs for each strips but they came out easily. Also, as the extracted part got too long, I held it with the other hand and grabbed it again further down the exposed portion, to always have a shorter section to pull on.
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