New York police are hunting a man who set a Muslim woman on fire while she was shopping on the city's 5<sup>th Avenue.

The woman told police she was walking down the road near East 54<sup>th Street on 10 September when she felt something warm on her arm and realised her shirt was on fire.

She turned to see a man holding a lighter, but he fled the scene after she spotted him. The 35-year-old woman managed to extinguish the flames and was uninjured in the attack, NBC New York reported.

Police are currently investigating the incident, and have released footage of the man believed to be involved in the crime in an attempt to locate him. They are also looking into whether the attack was a hate crime.

It comes less than a month after a New York Imam and his assistance were shot dead in Queens.

Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his assistant Thara Uddin, 64, were shot dead in Ozone Park while on their way home from midday prayers at 1.50pm local time, in what the community in the area dubbed a hate crime.

Following the double murder, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference that Muslims in the city felt less safe and issued extra protection around mosques in the days after the attack.

It is not the first time de Blasio has promised increased protections to Muslim Americans.

Muslims have been increasingly targeted in the US, with the number of Islamophobic attacks rising following instances of terror such as the 2015 attacks in Paris, The New York Times reported, with Muslim women wearing a hijab often facing a higher number of attacks.