The way I recall it from protege, the brakeline is following the control arms. After disconnecting the strut from the knuckle you should have enough clearence above the brake line to get it out.
You can also try this: after braking the strut loose from the knuckle, leave it in the knuckle. Then remove the mounting bolts on the tower. Now you can lift the strut up and angle it in many ways to extract it. you can also use the spring compressor to shorten the strut.
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